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INSCRIBED COLLEGE HILL ARSENAL CONFEDERATE FOOT OFFICER'S SWORD AND SCABBARD OF CAPTAIN SAMUEL A. MATTHEWS COMPANY E 16TH MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY. Neatly scratched on the reverse side of the scabbard throat and unquestionably period, "Sam/Co. E/16th Reg". Captain Samuel A. Matthews was mustered into Confederate service with the Quitman Guards of Pike County on April 23, 1861. The Quitman Guards became Co. E, 16th Regiment Mississippi Infantry upon their organization in June of 1861. The 16th fought in Jackson's Valley Campaign, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and most notably at Gettysburg where they entered combat with 385 effectives and suffered heavily. The College Hill Arsenal was a private enterprise operated by L. T. Cunningham. Their products were sold to the Confederate government as well as private individuals. Federal troops captured Nashville in April of 1862 thus ending the operation of the arsenal, however, during their tenure the company produced substantial numbers of swords and sabers. The brass hilt is rather crudely cast and finished and utilizes the pommel cap distinctive to College Hill Arsenal. The knuckle bow is pinned to the pommel cap. Fish skin grip wrapped with twisted brass wire. The 29 ¾" slightly curved blade has an unstopped fuller, pen knife rudimentary ricasso and is etched for ¾ of its length. The obverse bears a tendril like vine and leaf motif and wide diagonal lines at the base, the reverse untilizes the same motif but incorporates a large block CSA in the center. All etching with hand engraved details. The top stitch leather scabbard is decorated with two incised lines on both sides. The plain brass mounts are pinned in place. A classic College Foot Officer's sword and scabbard with great Gettysburg association and wonderful period ID doubtless applied by the owner.

Condition: Brass hilt with nice untouched patina, retaining much of the original gilt in the recessed areas. Fish skin grip with worn section on the back, obviously from heavy use. Wire wrap intact and tight. Retains the original leather washer. The blade is generally gray with some scattered patches light pitting, a bit heavier toward the tip. The original leather scabbard is very sound with all stitching tight, just some crackling to the finish. There is a worn area 3" above the bottom mount, also obviously the result of heavy honest use. All brass mounts with very nice untouched patina, l;eaving no question as to the authenticity of the inscription.

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Auction Dates
December, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,975

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